"Each Night I Dream of Home" Review
First Published: 09/02/99
Sadly, Crusade has come to an end far too soon. "Each Night I Dream of Home" is the last episode. It is obviously not a satisfying conclusion to the planned five-year story. It isn't even a satisfying conclusion to the 13-episodes shown because it was intended to run earlier in the sequence. Paralleling Babylonian Productions' battle with TNT, the characters of Crusade learn that the Drakh virus is even more dangerous than they imagined, thus ending the show on a downbeat.
One of the few senators not on Earth at the time of the Drakh attack sends the Excalibur home on a secret mission. Like many of the Excalibur's missions, there are some moral questions surrounding this exercise. A young man named David Williams has volunteered to be infected with the Drakh virus under controlled circumstances so that the doctors can study it. This clashes with Gideon's feelings about the sanctity of life, but Williams' motives are simple: he wishes to get married and spend whatever time he has left with his wife. When confronted with this issue of life versus quality of life, Gideon is reflective, realizing that he may never be as happy in his life as Williams will be when he is reunited with his love.
Babylon 5 fans will be pleased to see the return of Dr. Stephen Franklin in this episode. His relocation from Earth to an isolation bay on the Excalibur necessitates the secrecy of the mission. Through Dr. Franklin, we learn more about the effects of the Drakh virus on the population of Earth. Thousands have died already as the virus has mutated through different forms.
Dr. Franklin's report seems to foreshadow a possible outcome of the episode: that Williams may die of the virus much more quickly than five years, making his sacrifice in vain. This is the sort of irony that is right up Joe Straczynski's alley. However, when the threat finally comes, it isn't from the virus but rather from an attack of Drakh ships alerted - again ironically - by Williams' unauthorized transmission to his fiancée on Earth. The damage to the medical center is such that only Dr. Franklin can act to save Williams.
Doctors Franklin and Chambers begin to suspect that the Drakh virus is actually intelligent and may communicate to form a hive mind. This ends the episode - and the series - on a somber note.
Overall, "Each Night I Dream of Home" is a strong episode with a dramatic personal story and lots of action. Following the form set by many previous episodes, only a portion of the cast appears. While it is good to see Lochley one last time, Max, Dureena, and Galen do not appear in this episode.What Now?
Crusade is over. It is a good show... one that doesn't deserve to be cancelled. While it has a few shaky moments, overall its quality is better than that of Babylon 5's first season.
The Crusade for Crusade site is urging everyone to write more letters now that the the series is over. Let the Sci-Fi Channel know what you think of the show. If anything positive happens, I'll be sure to let you know.